Friday, February 19, 2010

What Morgan Freeman Teaches us about Writing Novels... and Free Book Friday

Free Book Friday

Today, it's a Writer Peeps special! 

First I am giving away a signed copy of Bree Despain's THE DARK DIVINE. She is #3 Crazy in my writer's group. (Although lately, she's been making a push for #1)

Also, I'm giving away Emily Wing Smith's THE WAY HE LIVED. She's #2 Crazy since 2009. 

Read to the bottom to find out how to enter.

Here's What's on my Mind:

1. It's been one of those weeks. You know, the kind where everyone around you is eating message hearts that say, "Be Mine" and "I'm Yours" and "So Cute" and then you open yours to find this:
How did the heart makers know? The next heart I drew said "So, Suck it".  I didn't bother to take a picture of that one. 

I stopped drawing hearts after that. Chances are the next heart would say, "Grow a pair". 

2. The Olympics: Full of Characters I care about.
 Shaun White hangs a Double McFlurry
(Okay, maybe that's not a real trick name)

When watching the Olympics, I've been saying to Sam, "You gotta watch Vonn... She knows how to triumph over adversity" and "Here's Lindsey Jacobellis. Do you think she'll redeem herself?" and "Morgan Freeman says Shaun White is gonna do something that's gonna blow my mind!"

I got thinking about how this applies to writing a good novel: plot doesn't matter if the reader doesn't care about the characters. 

Without Morgan Freeman, Vonn would've been some stranger in spandex going really fast down a hill, and it left me wondering, how would Morgan Freeman narrate my life in 30 seconds or less?

It's like a Mad Lib.

When [insert name] was a little [girl/boy]
[She/he] would [insert endearing quirky characteristic, like eating cardboard, or drawing on bedroom walls]
And the other kids would [make fun of/spit in his or her jello]

Today, you can find [him/her] on the [mountain/ice/snow]
doing [crazy stunt/triple axels/going 90 mph]
And you know what? Nobody spits in her jello anymore.

Go World.

So, in honor of Morgan Freeman, to enter the contest:

1. Follow the blog. (This time, it's only open to followers. So, Follow first)

2. Leave a comment. Easy Peezy.

3. For a bonus entry, include how Morgan Freeman would narrate your life in 30 seconds or less. Feel free to use the Mad Lib.

4. Want one more entry? Tweet about the contest. Include the link in the comments.

You have until the end of the weekend to enter. Yay! Go World. 


  1. I'm the first commentor? Seriously? Weird....

    Already a follower...

    But trust me, as we begin day 2 of operation potty train, you don't want to know how anyone would narrate my life right now. (Especially since we may also be on day 2 of this migraine....)

  2. Britt- Well, I was actually a little late posting today.

    Potty-training is the worst. The absolute worst. I'm still training my youngest, and I've been training him for four months now. Not to scare you.

  3. Hi there! I'm one of your new followers (Sure there will be A LOT more to come after this!) and am seriously hoping that I'll get lucky and win the book this time cause I think "lucky" and "me" has never reside in the same sentence for me - EVER! And I surely can relate to you regarding "one of those weeks" thingy as well. Bad week, and am glad it'll be over soon!

    +1 I Tweet:

    Thank you so much!

  4. Follower: kpic724

    It's Friday! Bad week over!! :)

    kpic724 (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. Oh I know how it goes, Brodi. And yes, it completely sucks.

  6. Sorry for the suckage! But I can tell you from my disaterous first marriage, that being alone beats out being with a user/cheater any day! I'm sending chocolate hug wishes your way!

  7. That's so true about not caring about the characters! It makes all the difference in the world.

    My madlib:

    When she (meaning me) was a small child, she used to paint herself with mud until her siblings washed her off or her mother forced her to bathe (there wasn't much to do in the wilds of Montana). Today you can find her hiding in her home, refusing to face reality, but at least nobody forces her to bathe anymore.

    Um, this isn't strictly true, but it was the first thing that popped into my head. And I did love playing in the mud when I was younger.

  8. Been following for a while now. I'm excited to try out these titles, if I win. Believe it or not my library has neither. :(

    When Alysa was a little girl, she would tell her siblings crazy lies ("The south pole is the hottest place on earth! The north pole is the coldest, so it makes sense.")and those who knew better would spoil the fun.

    Today, you can find her at home, raising a child. And you know what? Nobody spoils the fun anymore.

    Muahahaha! (yes, that's an actual quote.)

  9. Shy and Kate- Welcome to the blog!

    Cole- Totally agree with that. Thanks for the chocolate hugs.

    Jenilyn- Thanks for taking up the Morgan Freeman Narration challenge. Hilarious, btw.

    Alysa- "And you know what? Nobody spoils the fun anymore." Love it. Especially the lies you used to tell.

  10. 1) I Am Following Your Blog.

    2) What An Awesome Contest. I Think That Suggesting Morgan Freeman Narrating My Life Is A Unique Idea. Morgan Freeman's Voice Makes Anything Sound Good. I WOuld Love To Be Entered Into This Contest.

    3) When Raquel Was A Little Girl
    She Would Draw On The Walls With Crayons
    And The Other Kids Would Tease Her
    Today, You Can Find Her On The Homefront With Her Kids
    Doing Diaper Duty And School Activities
    And You Know What? Nobody Teases Her Anymore.

    4) I Tweeted ABout This Giveaway (@skyla11377).

  11. Hello Brodi! My sister introduced me to your fabulously funny blog! I've been having a great time reading! And I'd REALLY REALLY love to win The Dark Divine because I'm dying to read it, my library doesn't have it, and I'm on the perpetual "student budget." Bummer... But now I have a spark of hope since I'm following your blog!

    Here's what Morgan Freeman would have to say about me...

    When Shauna was a little girl, she would play with her sister and her stuffed animals (as she never had pets and totally rejected dolls) and read any book that came her way. And the other kids would tolerate her because she didn't get in their way!

    Today, you can find her on the couch
    reading any book that comes her way.
    And you know what? Nobody really minds that still! (except the hubby & kids who wanted dinner... oops!)

  12. I'm already a follower. :)

    I retweeted your tweet about this contest. Does that count?

    Anyway, here's my Morgan Freeman story:

    When Jenni was a little girl, she would sing the Love Boat theme song while sitting on the toilet. And, the other kids would do nothing because they didn't know about it.

    Today, you can find her on the Internet doing crazy posts on Twitter and blogs. And, you know what? Nobody does nothing to her anymore.
    Go World.

  13. Skyla- thanks for finding the blog. You're entered thrice!

    Shauna- who's your sister? Love your Morgan Freeman. I always forgo making dinner in favor of reading/writing a book. In fact, I'll forgo dinner for basically anything. Ask my hubby!

    Jenni- "And, you know what? Nobody does nothing to her anymore."
    So funny!

  14. I'm glad for the narrators during the Olympics because there are so many amazing back-stories that I would never know about otherwise.

    When Becky was a little girl, she would worry about the talking wolves living under her bed and the other kids would wonder why it was wolves and not something slimy.

    Today, you can find her on at college with even more space under her bed. And you know what? Everyone else has matured enough to realize wolves are scarier than any slimy creature.

  15. To illustrate: I skipped most of the blah-blah about the olympics. (Shaun who?) Don't know = don't care. :) (Okay, so I still read it, but don't remember it.)

    I very carefully read the instructions to win free books, though, and do belive you are the first blog I've ever officially "followed." Don't know why I resisted for so long.

    Freeman Mad Lib:
    When Robin was a little girl, she would talk incessantly about whatever came into her head, and the other kids would ignore her.

    Today, you can find her in the courtroom, where she gets to talk as much as she wants and not only does everyone have to listen, but the reporter writes it all down. And you know what? Sometimes she still feels ignored.

    And I tweeted:

    That's three for me, right? :)

  16. Becky- Definitely a very creative Morgan Freeman Narration. Thanks for entering!

    Robin- I am honored that mine is the first blog you have ever followed! Although, should I be offended that you admit to skipping most of my post? Looks like I'm gonna have to up my game just for you. Okay okay, no more stories about the Olympics. I get it.

    You are entered thrice!

  17. No, no! Olympics stories are fine! Honestly, your blog is the most Olympic info I get and, truly, you make any topic hilarious. I did catch the object lesson--if we don't care about the characters, we don't care about the stories.

    That said, even if I was riveted to the Olympics this year, how could the stories of the Olympics hold my attention when you teased me with the chance to win such great books??!! Can I be blamed for skipping to the end?

    If I gave offense, though, I do apologize. I love your blog. And I really did read it all--just some of it a bit faster. :)

  18. Robin- No offense taken! Especially since I said, "Find out how to enter at the end..."

    Feel free to skip to the end anytime. I'm just honored you follow!

  19. Whew! :D

    (My word verification is what happens when you're worried you'll be kicked off Brodi's blog for dissing the Olympics: worickes)

  20. I hate it when I get a case of the worickes...

  21. Shauna is my sister... I drag her into all the fun things I find!

    Oh, and I follow

    When Kayla was a little girl
    she would pretend she was She-ra. She would turn into said Princess of Power by twirling a hula-hoop around her body.
    And the other kids would stare in a daze of jealousy at the beauty and awesomeness of Kay-ra.

    Today, you can find her at the costume shop sighing because she still doesn't fill out the brass bra.
    And you know what? That's probably a good thing.

    Go World. If you need saving, you know who to call!

  22. I haven't been seeing any of the Olympics. It's too late here to watch them, although I do see how they are doing on the sport news.

    I'm a follower


  23. Hm...I'm not sure Morgan Freeman would stay awake long enough to narrate my life. It's quite dull and predictable (which is sometimes a good thing).

    Of course, I'm already a follower :)

  24. I'm a follower!

    Goodness, if Morgan Freeman narrated my life it'd be:

    Una was born into an average family and grew up being average. However, God has a sense of humor and granted her a super-imagination allowing her to dream big and keep her optimism alive in the face of enduring averageness. So even though it may appear her life is average, she is a hero, amazing and awe-inspiring in her own little world. A world that she allows others into, on occasion....and only if you are really special!

    Ha, hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

  25. Kayla- Loved the part about the brass bra. thanks for bringing your sister over to our par-tay.

    Spav- Thanks for entering!

    Melissa- That's the fun thing about Morgan Freeman- he can make even the most boring life sound fascinating. Thanks for the comment.

    Una- Boy, that girl sounds amazing. How do I get invited to that world?

  26. Still confused on the follower thing. I think I "followed" a few people's blogs months and months ago (maybe including yours; can't remember) but I don't really get what it means. I would have thought following would send me an email alert about new posts, something like that. Maybe I did it wrong . . .

    Don't enter me in the drawing, since I already have both books, but I want to do the Morgan Freeman thing anyway.

    When Nikki was younger, she was WAY too into saving the earth. Like, she was in awe of Green Peace and carried around the book 50 Ways to Save the Planet. And this was WAY before it was popular to be green. In fact, it was highly unpopular. One particular bully made so much fun of her that she cried on the first day of fifth grade when she learned he was in her class.

    Now that being green is so popular, she seems to care a lot less. Okay, except for recycling and using cloth grocery bags. But she doesn't go nuts with bamboo or anything, maybe so no one will make fun of her.

  27. I'm a follower already, YAY!

    How would Morgan Freeman narrate my life? He'd say: "Once there was a girl name Laura who had an over-active imagination. She still does."


  28. Nikki- Loved it! That's weird, because when I was a little girl, I carried around a book called 50 Ways to Leave your Lover. Maybe we were twins in another life.

    L.T. - Simple, yet elegant. Thanks for the entry!

  29. I would love to be the winner!

    I am a brand new Follower

    Tweet! Tweet!

    When Nancye was a sweet little girl
    she would get her brothers into trouble all the time. Being the baby had it's perks!! Her 2 older brothers would get SOOO angry until one day they locked her in the closet and wouldn't let her out!!

    Today, you can find her driving on the open highway in her candy apple red convertible traveling
    with her hair blowing in the breeze. And you know what? Her older brothers never lock her in the closet anymore!!

    I'll let you fgure out the true part on your own.....:)

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  30. Hey Brodi. So true, so true. You say it's all about the story. But really it's all about the ratings. Have you noticed that when there are no Americans to root for the media manage to make us feel deeply for the old-fogey (age 36) Chinese couple who have given up marital bliss to live in dorm rooms and train for 4 years for one last shot at gold or bust? Poor souls. What if they had only gotten silver. I wonder how some people survive such let downs. Trust me though, I love the Olympics. And I love caring about the competitors if only for 2 short weeks.

  31. Nancye- Brothers probably don't lock you in the closet anymore because they want to borrow your cool car. Thanks for entering!

    Heids- I have no idea how those athletes who train for four years only to blow it survive. Like the skiers who crash on their one shot down the mountain? Or the ones who miss a gate? Or those South Koreans who fall on the last lap? I don't think I could handle it!